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7 Reasons Why Your Two Week Trip To Haiti Doesn’t Matter: Calling Bull on “Service Trips”

7 Reasons Why Your Two Week Trip To Haiti Doesn’t Matter: Calling Bull on “Service Trips”
Feature Image: Screengrab from the hilarious satire YouTube video by SAIH Norway I’d like to add that this is not a new idea. The problems associated with voluntourism are well known among the professionals who work in international development. I have added many links at the end of this post to inspire further reading on the subject. There have been many different articles written about the ineffectiveness of short-term voluntourism trips to developing nations, including here and here by our friends at in-Training. You know the kind of trips I’m talking about: a spring break spent painting an orphanage in Haiti as opposed to drinking all day in Panama City Beach; a 10-day excursion in exotic Peru, with the pics of Machu Picchu to prove it; or, for the overachieving do-gooders, a couple weeks spent parading around Nairobi, Kenya. However, these types of trips often exploit the people and communities they pretend to help. I’m guilty of this myself. 1. Do you want to feel fulfilled? Instead

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Dear J.K. Rowling, Orphanages Can Make a Difference by , Volunteer By Farhana Rehman-Furs, Chief Programs Officer, Cross-Cultural Solutions In Regards To: The Dangers of Mission Trip Voluntourism - The Institute for Youth Ministry When I was 14, I went with my high school youth group to Tijuana, Mexico, on a short-term mission trip. This was the first of several mission trips I went on with my youth group, all partnering with the same congregation through the same mission organization. These trips, while brief, left a lasting impression on me—not only did they give me a more global perspective as far as faith and life experience goes, but they also taught me the value of targeted service and the necessity of building relationships with those I came to serve. Although my experience as a high schooler was positive, youth workers have a difficult balance to strike when planning a short-term mission trip. Often, this is reflected in the competing priorities of such trips—not only do youth workers want to see their young people stretched outside their comfort zone, youth workers also want to see the community they serve benefit.

Orphanages are no place for children Laurie Ahern is president of Disability Rights International. An estimated 8 million to 10 million infants and children live in orphanages around the world, and aid agencies, churches and governments provide hundreds of millions of dollars in the hope that they can help vulnerable children find sanctuary in these institutions. This hope is badly misplaced. Orphanages are not safe places for children. My organization, Disability Rights International, is working to dispel the widespread myth that building and filling an orphanage is a compassionate way to use charity or government money. In work in dozens of countries over two decades, we have witnessed thousands of children who live in disabling conditions, with heartbreaking consequences.

Finding the Questions: The Ethics of Voluntourism By Margaret Desmond It is almost two in the morning and I am standing on the side of street in Guatemala while the driver rings the bell for what must be the sixth time. No one is answering the door. How to be a Responsible Voluntourist Voluntourists have huge potential to improve and develop the lives and lands of destination communities worldwide, while also enriching their own lives. But, voluntourism must be done responsibly to become a real form of sustainable tourism. Responsible voluntourism can have many benefits: it can facilitate an exchange of skills between travelers and communities, and it can aid the less fortunate in society so they can gain access to education, healthcare, and other basic necessities. Volunteer tourism has NOT been introduced as a barrier to deter people from traveling, despite its criticisms.

Ritratti di viaggiatori che partono per aiutare gli altri - Valentina Pigmei In occasione di catastrofi che ci riguardano un po’ più da vicino, siamo presi da un desiderio estemporaneo di aiutare il prossimo e ci affanniamo magari a spedire qualche soldo ai bisognosi, assillati dal dubbio: ma che fine faranno i miei due euro per i terremotati di Amatrice? La sfiducia negli enti di beneficenza, soprattutto istituzionali, è ormai diffusa e generalizzata. A volte è una sfiducia irrazionale perché sono davvero tante le associazioni, soprattutto quelle che agiscono dal basso, e lavorano nella totale trasparenza; ma talvolta è comprensibile, alla luce, per esempio, di quello che è accaduto all’Aquila. Qualche tempo fa, in Umbria, dove vivo, è scoppiato lo “scandalo dei cassonetti gialli”, quelli dove si buttano i vestiti che non usiamo più. Invece che alla Caritas o ad altre associazioni di beneficenza sembra che questi nostri vecchi stracci andassero nelle mani di loschi individui che li rivendevano al mercato dell’usato.

4 travel tips to help you avoid orphanage tourism - UNICEF Australia Planning that long-earned adventure overseas? These travel tips could help you avoid the dangerous trend of ‘orphanage tourism'. 1. Remember, children are not tourist attractions Around the world, the popularity of poverty tours including orphanages, slums or even dumpsites is increasing. Orphanage visits: Are they ever okay? When I started studying short-term overseas volunteer trips, I noticed how many involved brief (1-2 days) visits to orphanages. My immediate response was one of distress—how can such a short visit be good for the children? These are kids who have presumably already been abandoned by family, so is it not adding to their trauma to make warm and fun connections (at least as evidenced in volunteers’ photos) with a series of different visitors, who then quickly abandon them? When I expressed this concern to my smart and experienced friend Gail, she insisted that it was surely better than being left barely tended to for long stretches of time, as is the case in some orphanages.

Subscribe to read Premium Digital All the benefits of Standard Digital, plus: Unlimited access to all content Instant Insights column for comment and analysis as news unfolds FT Confidential Research - in-depth China and Southeast Asia analysis ePaper - the digital replica of the printed newspaper Full access to LEX - our agenda setting daily commentary Exclusive emails, including a weekly email from our Editor, Lionel Barber Full access to EM Squared- news and analysis service on emerging markets 'Dear orphan, I'm sorry you are poor': the trouble with pen pals Yesterday morning, our office received a box of letters sent by a bright and earnest group of year five pupils at a school on the east coast of the United States. The parents had asked if the class could be Pen Pals with our students in Kenya. I opened the first letter. “Dear Flying Kites orphan, I’m sorry you are poor,” the opening line read.

Voluntourists come in search of the real India, but lap up the fake - Times of India Samantha, is sitting on the floor, a textbook in front of her, surrounded by girls from the Monte Hill slum in the south of Goa. The 18-year-old from Texas teaches them English and maths every day. After helping in the slum, she goes to the beach, and on weekends she travels. Samantha is travelling around the world on a gap year before college, and plans to volunteer in Thailand, Australia, Ghana, South Africa and Italy.

Why we're ReThinking orphanage tourism There are about eight million kids living in orphanages and residential care facilities around the world. Here’s the thing, though: four out of five of them have a living parent or family member. In Cambodia, the number of orphanages has grown by 75% over the past decade, yet technically, the number of orphans has decreased. Who am I Giving to Now? What Does this go to? Are you sure… it will make me feel good? — What Keeps You Up at Night? What to give… What to give… Give my time, my energy, my expertise, my money, my home, my work… so so many ways to show kindness. We can give big or give small, it is all wonderful.